The Educational Aspects of Woman Work in Voluntarism (A Field Study in Sohag Governorate)

                                       By/ Dr. Fify Ahmed Tawfeek [1]


Engagement in voluntary work is a symbol of the nation's progress and development. That is, the more progress and development a nation has, the more engaged its citizens in charity and voluntary work are. Volunteering is a requirement of contemporary life that led to development and rapid progress in all fields.

Voluntary work is a humanitarian and social act that requires the culture of sacrifice and caring for others. It is deeply rooted in the Islamic culture and Arab traditions. Unfortunately, it ceased because of the promotion of private interests over the public ones; weakness of social relations; and receding the concepts of locality, community and neighborhood. People are no longer keen on contacting with each other as if providing help and asking others is a kind of intervening with others.

However, with the complexity of social life; the development of circumstances; and the rapid social, economic, security, and technological changes, we are faced with new situations and circumstances that can't sometimes be faced by governments. Accordingly, all efforts shall collaborate to face such reality and situations. The effective role of voluntary work is highlighted by supporting the official efforts.    

Since the cultural and value system affects the motives and causes of people, its aspect is an effective factor in voluntary work. Although the Islamic culture includes many values that motivate doing good deeds and practicing voluntary work, the voluntary culture in our society is low effective and suffers from many key problems, e.g. the rigid and traditional intellectual discourse in the field and the gab between theory and practice. Despite prioritizing voluntary work in Islam, its fields were almost limited to some traditional activities that it became only related to the concept of charitable work. In other words, voluntary works are limited to advocacy aspects and helping the needy. In addition, the other aspects have not received due attention.

Mostafa and Khamees (2006) argued that the educated Egyptian woman, at the various levels, is mainly interested in her personal and family life as a wife, mother and a housewife in charge of the affairs of her family at any cost. This is reflected in her low participation in the public life socially and politically because she is not motivated to participate and is unaware of the importance of the political participation and the social earnings she may receive.

Consequently, woman is a key pillar of family and society at the same time. It is also important to note that she participates in voluntary work according to her ability as an important member in the society and she also has capabilities that may be unavailable to many men in some issues. Therefore, it is important to define the educational aspects of and obstacles to woman work in voluntarism and set up mechanisms to help the Egyptian woman overcome such obstacles; the objective of the study. 

The current study attempts to define the educational aspects of and the cultural to the work of the Egyptian woman in voluntarism by reviewing the educational literature. Accordingly, a set of mechanisms can be introduced to overcome the obstacles to woman work in the field.

The author utilized the descriptive and analytical method in collecting and analyzing data as the most suitable to the nature of the study. It is well known that the descriptive and analytical studies have an evaluative and developmental purpose where the author investigates reality to evaluate and contribute to interpretation and development.

To utilize the descriptive and analytical method in defining the reality of voluntary work in Sohag governorate and the causes of woman work in the field, the triangulation approach was adopted. It is based on two or more methods to collect data to examine a certain element of the human behavior.  Thus, the author made use of the structured interview and the questionnaire to collect data.

The following results were concluded: 

  • Voluntary associations in Sohag provide great services to its citizens, especially in the educational issues regarding health care, adult education, keeping and cleaning the environment, teaching the Holy Qur'an, holding symposia to enlighten people on smoking and drugs and helping people establish small projects to be a source of revenue to some poor families.
  • There are many obstacles to woman work in voluntarism, including personal, administrative, social and economic aspects.

Finally, a set of mechanisms are provided to overcome the obstacles to the work of the Egyptian woman in voluntarism.


[1] Assistant Professor of Fundamentals of Education, Sohag Faculty of Education, Sohag University